19 January 2018
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Lebanon, again a model for the Middle East

Decisive next 48 hours
New government might be announced as UN vets Hariri assassination probe. Syrian troops complete pullout whilst people wait for results from Nassrallah-Jumblatt meeting.

Lebanese government dismisses UN report on Hariri killing
UN accuses Syria and Lebanon's security services, but Beirut denies any involvement in the case.

Sfeir calls for a government that would prepare the elections and work for reconciliation
The Patriarch and some lawmakers demand the release of Geagea. Two people die in an explosion in a shopping centre in a Christian area near Jounieh.

We want a free, independent and sovereign Lebanon, says Patriarch Sfeir
The head of the Maronite Church speaks about his visit to the US.

Cardinal Sfeir: full sovereignty for Beirut, but demonstrations are worrisome

The Patriarch leaves today for the US, while yesterday Syria announced plans to pullout by April and while opposition groups count on leading a million demonstrators.

Opposition backed by Patriarch Sfeir meets
Before Patriarch Sfeir leaves for the US to visit President Bush opposition will examine developments following Assad's speech, Hezbollah's rally and Syrian army redeployment.

New government caught between opposing demonstrations
UN Resolution 1559 is the bone of contention between pro-Syrian Hezbollah and the opposition. Patriarch Sfeir backs resolution and is preparing for his Washington trip.

Lebanon has a right to sovereignty, says Patriarch Sfeir
On the eve of his departure to Washington Patriarch Sfeir demands respect for United Nations resolutions. Armenian bishops call for a government of national unity to implement agreements.

Lebanon becomes once again a model for the Middle East
Druze asking Christians for forgiveness; Christians praying for Sunnis: Lebanon's peaceful revolution is a source of hope for democracy in the entire Middle East. The "land of cedars" remains the best example of coexistence in the region. But the international community is needed. Fr Samir, an Egyptian Jesuit, is a professor of the History of Arab Culture and Islamic Studies at Beirut's Saint-Joseph University.

Russia and US press Syria to pull its troops out of Lebanon
Diplomatic manoeuvres are underway in the Arab world. Syrian President Assad is expected in Saudi Arabia: Saudi-Egyptian pullout plan to be discussed.

People power sinks Karami government
Situation unbearable, Interior Minister says, urges calm. Patriarch Sfeir is scheduled to meet US President Bush on March 16 in Washington.

Anti-Syrian demonstration defies government ban

Protesters gather overnight in Martyrs Square. Central Beirut is guarded by the Army. Today, parliament will discuss Hariri's killing and vote on a motion of no-confidence in the government.

Syria out, say Lebanese Christians and Muslims
Religious leaders reiterate importance of intra-Lebanese dialogue and demand respect for the country's sovereignty.

Dialogue between opposition and pro-Syrian faction urgent, says Maronite Patriarch

US envoy reiterates his government's support for UN resolution calling on Syria to pullout from Lebanon.

Maronite Patriarch says Syria should withdraw in a situation of calm and dialogue
Christian demonstrators shout that today the revolt for independence has begun

After Hariri's death, US official invites Patriarch Sfeir to the US
US Assistant Secretary meets Maronite Patriarch and reiterates threat of sanctions against Syria if Damascus does not respect UN resolution.

A freedom-crushing regime behind Hariri's assassination, Lebanese Bishops say
Former PM Hariri, who was killed in a terrorist attack, was laid to rest today in a private ceremony after the family refused a state funeral.

Patriarch and Vatican's nuncio offer their condolences to Hariri's family
Maronite bishops to hold an extraordinary synod tomorrow on the country's dramatic situation after Hariri's assassination. Newspapers published photos of former p.m. with John Paul II.

Editor's choices

Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

Fady Noun

A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.

Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison

The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.


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